Coulsdon residents want to leave Croydon and return to Surrey
Coulsdon residents want their town to break away from Croydon in protest at being "ignored" by the council.
Coulsdon West Residents' Association (CWRA) is to explore the possibility of the town returning to Surrey under the jurisdiction of its own district council.
The group has also threatened to enter candidates into next year's elections, march on Croydon Council's headquarters and even stage its own pantomime to raise awareness of alleged apathy to residents' views.
Its grievances centre on the Coulsdon Masterplan, which includes a 650-home redevelopment of the Cane Hill and a supermarket, which CWRA claims the council is forcing through despite concerns of residents.
Richard Thurbon, the group's chair, said the council had ignored question marks hanging over the supermarket in Lion Green Road, which will mean the loss of car parking spaces and increased traffic.
He said 2,300 responses to a consultation on the plans had led to just eight minor changes.
Mr Thurbon said: "We said that maybe a supermarket on Lion Green Road wasn’t a great idea as it would not to be great for people to get into using a car, no public transport outside, and would have a massive impact on the people living and using Lion Green Road."
"But it seems Croydon Council are not fond of listening to us in Coulsdon. That’s a shame as we are the residents who live here, and will use the facilities that are given to us for the years to come."
CWRA now plans a campaign of direct action to get residents' views heard. Top of its wish-list is transferral of Coulsdon back to Surrey, which the town was part of before being merged with London in 1965.
Richard Thurbon, chair of Coulsdon West Residents' Association
It also plans to organise protests outside Bernard Weatherill House, the council's new home, and could run in May's council elections, in which it believes residents will make the ruling Conservatives pay for "every broken promise, every lack of support, every ignored point of view".
Mr Thurbon said: "Our manifesto would be doing and supporting what our residents tell us they want.
"I am very proud of my local area. I have had the pleasure of meeting so many people passionate about Coulsdon, and that see us as different, and a town to be proud of.
"Our residents are clear that they want Coulsdon to be their Coulsdon. I am determined that they get that, and we will listen."
A council spokesman said: "The Masterplan is a flexible set of guidelines rather than a detailed blueprint for future development.
"It’s taken many months working closely with external experts and listening and taking account of the views of local people – including members of the CWRA – to arrive at these conclusions.
"Whilst we understand there will often be differing views we’re confident that its principles will benefit future generations.
"We can reassure everyone that any planning application submitted will be subject to consultation and scrutiny in the normal way."
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